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Land Tenure in Oregon. 33 of renting yet discovered proves as satisfactory, both tO' the farmer himself and to the community as a whole, as operation of farms by landowning farmers. If tenant farming continues to increase, agricultural effi- ciency will not be as great as it would be under a system of farming where land is tilled by owners. The soil will become less productive because it is being constantly "skinned" by tenant farmers. It has been aptly said that the nation which tills the soil so as to leave it worse than they found it is doomed tO' decay and degradation. Tracts of land have ac- tually been abandoned in the states along the Atlantic Seaboard because the soil has become too unproductive to support both landlord and tenant. Tenant farming naturally seeks the most fertile lands be- cause they yield the largest returns for the labor of cultivating and harvesting. Poor grades of land will scarcely pay a tenant for his work after the owner receives his share of the produce; consequently, tenants devastate our best, most pro- ductive lands, the garden spots of the United States, which should receive the greatest care and attention. Many reasons can be given to show that tenant farming is employed mostly on fertile and valuable lands. Owners of the best farms ac- quire a competency sooner than their less favored neighbors, and are enabled to retire from active work and rent their farms. Capitalists invest their money in the better grades of land because it yields the surest and largest returns for the sum invested. Tenants, as a rule, are men of limited means, who have not the capital to conduct farming on an extensive scale such as is necessary to make a success of farming on poor grades of land where the margin of profit is small. More risk is involved in farming poor land because the outlay is necessarily greater in proportion to the amount of returns and crops are more uncertain. Diversified farming is espe- cially adapted to fertile land, and this kind of farming can be

conducted largely by the farmers' own personal labor. These----